Paxil Withdrawal Effects
If discontinuation reactions occur in patients stopping (Paxil), the majority will experience symptoms that are mild to moderate in intensity, and are usually limited to two weeks.
— GSK spokesperson Mary Anne Rhyne, 2005
Knowledgeable and informed consumer advocates accede there might be a modicum of truth in that GlaxoSmithKline claim, however, it willfully ignores the fact that there are untold thousands of individuals who experience:
withdrawals from Paxil.
Some survivors of a severe Paxil withdrawal liken the effects to what Nazi death camp "doctor" Josef Mengele's drug "medical" experiment victims might have endured. If that's the case, then one can only imagine what the horror of a severe Paxil withdrawal is like for infants given birth to by mothers taking Paxil, since they are unable to speak.
....they ("electrical zaps") are no longer overwhelming and consuming the landscape of my mind (and sanity) like a plague of electrical locusts. Maybe, in a way, I sense I am near the end of this journey — that I am close to being able to say “adios” and good riddance to the hell they brought. What a pleasure to feel them fade towards nothingness and, I pray, that’s what’s happening. I can feel them still trying to wreak their havoc, but I believe my brain has gained the upper hand in this bizarre chemical battle. It's almost like the little bastards were living things in my head; vectors from another dimension of an unknown reality.
— journal entry, day #91
GSK's "Do More, Feel Better, Live Longer" video
from a Paxil withdrawal diary
kept by Rob Robinson, a Paxil survivor.
(Windows Media Player or RealOne Player required to view)
The following list of Paxil withdrawal-related symptoms is adapted from Joseph Glenmullen, M.D.'s book The Antidepressant Solution.
That Mimic Depression
Crying spells, Worsened mood, Low energy (fatigue, lethargy, malaise); Trouble concentrating, Insomnia or trouble sleeping, Change in appetite, Suicidal thoughts, Suicide attempts
That Mimic Anxiety Disorders
Anxious, nervous, tense; Panic attacks (racing heart, breathless); Chest pain; Trembling, jittery, or shaking
Irritability and Aggression
Irritability, Agitation (restlessness, hyperactivity); Impulsivity, Aggressiveness, Self-harm, Homicidal thoughts or urges
Confusion and Memory Problems
Confusion or cognitive difficulties; Memory problems or forgetfulness
Elevated mood (feeling high), Mood swings, Manic-like reactions
Auditory hallucinations, Visual hallucinations
Feeling detached or unreal
Excessive or intense dreaming, Nightmares
That Mimic the Flu
Flu-like aches and pains, Fever, Sweats, Chills, Runny nose, Sore eyes
That Mimic Gastroenteritis
Nausea, Vomiting, Diarrhea, Abdominal pain or cramps, Stomach bloating
Disequilibrium; Spinning, swaying, lightheaded; Hung over or waterlogged feeling, Unsteady gait, poor coordination, Motion sickness
Numbness, burning, or tingling; Electric zap-like sensations in the brain; Electric shock-like sensations in the body, Abnormal visual sensations, Ringing or other noises in the ears, Abnormal smells or tastes
Drooling or excessive saliva, Slurred speech, Blurred vision; Muscle cramps, stiffness, twitches; Feeling of restless legs, Uncontrollable twitching of mouth
If you, or someone you know, suffered withdrawals while on Paxil, please report it immediately to the United States Food and Drug Administration. This is one way consumer leverage can be applied to GlaxoSmithKline; eventually this official documentation will compel the company to fully disclose the "adverse side effects" of Paxil. You can report your side effects at: MedWatch.